The National Museum of Forest Service History has over 50,000 objects in our collection.

Browse some of the historic photographs and artifacts from our collection in this online gallery.

Gifford Pinchot commissioned nickel-plated bronze badges like this one for forest guards in the 1900s.
Harold Lawson from the Portland Radio Laboratory operates a heliograph, c. 1936. Heliographs were used by the Forest Service to send messages using sunlight reflected in flashes from a mirror.
Zeiss Ikon Orix Folding Camera, c. 1930. Photographs were important in the early days of the Forest Service. Pictures were used to communicate with the public. The Onix Model 308/1 was marketed in catalogs from 1926-1934.
A smokejumper gathers his chute after landing in Seeley Lake, Mont., c. 1940. The smokejumper program started in 1939 as a way to reduce the time it took for crews to reach wildland fires.
A Civilian Conservation Corps cap, formally known as an overseas garrison cap, c. 1939. All recruits were issued military-style uniforms: shirt, pants, tie, boots, and cap.
The first Alaskan Ranger Boat Than, alongside the Wanigan, c. 1915. Crews lived and worked on these boats in the Tongass National Forest, which has some 11,000 miles of coastline.
This broadax was found in the Medicine Bow National Forest, Wyoming, c. 1895. Broadaxes were used by "tie hackers" who cut timber to produce railroad ties during the period of western railroad expansion.
Tables set for dinner with Forest Service logo dishware in a field mess tent, c 1935. Two pies are on the end of each table and a wall telephone is visible. The photo was most likely taken at a blister rust control camp, which was a New Deal-era program for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).
Picking huckleberries was a family activity at remote ranger stations. Dorr Skeels made this huckleberry picker, c. 1920. In 1914, he became the first dean of the School of Forestry at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana.
University of Montana student Richard Ogg using an SP Radio at a temporary lookout, c. 1935. Ogg was assigned to the Region 1 Mobile Radio Unit.
Lietz staff compass, socket and leather case, c. 1950. A staff compass was used by early foresters to locate property boundaries. There’s a brass socket that fits onto the bottom of the compass to mount a staff.
Corpsmen working under the supervision of a crew foreman learn to do plane table mapping on the job. Flatwoods Job Corps, Jefferson National Forest, Virginia, c. 1968.

What people are saying.

“The National Forest Foundation recognizes the importance of the National Museum of Forest Service History and supports its mission and vision to preserve and interpret the rich heritage of the Forest Service, its cooperators and partners.”

– William J. Possiel, President, National Forest Foundation

About our collection.

The NMFSH manages a collection of more than 50,000 artifacts, records, publications, photographs, and memorabilia relating to the history of the Forest Service and America’s conservation legacy.

Get involved in the history of the U.S. Forest Service!


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get the latest news and read stories about the history of the U.S. Forest Service!

Thanks for subscribing!